MLB 1st Overall Draft Picks List of All Time

The MLB Draft only goes back to 1965, and the MLB Draft is a bit different from other sports. Most of these kids were taken out of high school or at least the first year of college. You also don’t have the Minor Leagues in other sports which in baseball you have to battle through to even see the Major Leagues. Being selected first overall meant you had a good chance of making it to the majors, whether you actually thrived in the Minor Leagues or not. Less than 15% of these first round picks ended up never seeing the bigs. That is a pretty good number.

2019: Adley Rutschman

Baltimore Orioles
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Oregon State21JuniorC6'2216

2018: Casey Mize

Detroit Tigers
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Auburn20JuniorSP6'3220 lbs

2017: Royce Lewis

Minnesota Twins
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Jserra Catholic High School18N/ASS6'2188 lbs

2016: Mickey Moniak

Philadelphia Phillies
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
La Costa Canyon HS18N/AOF6'2185 lbs

2015: Dansby Swanson

Arizona Diamondbacks
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Vanderbilt21JuniorSS6'1190 lbs

2014: Brady Aiken

Houston Astros
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Cathedral Catholic HS18N/ASP6'4205 lbs

2013: Mark Appel

Houston Astros
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Stanford21SeniorSP6'5220 lbs

2012: Carlos Correa

Houston Astros
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Stanford17N/ASS6'4215 lbs

2011: Gerrit Cole

Pittsburgh Pirates
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
UCLA21JuniorSP6'4225 lbs

2010: Bryce Harper

Washington Nationals
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
College of Southern Nevada18FreshmanOF6'3220 lbs

2009: Stephen Strasburg

Washington Nationals
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
San Diego State21JuniorSP6'5235 lbs

2008: Tim Beckham

Tampa Bay Rays
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Griffin HS18N/ASS6'1205 lbs

2007: David Price

Tampa Bay Rays
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Vanderbilt21JuniorSP6'5215 lbs

2006: Luke Hochevar

Kansas City Royals
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Tennessee21JuniorSP6'5225 lbs

2005: Justin Upton

Arizona Diamondbacks
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Great Bridge HS18N/ASS6'1215 lbs

2004: Matt Bush

San Diego Padres
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Mission Bay HS18N/ASS5'9180 lbs

2003: Delmon Young

Tampa Bay Devil Rays
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Adolfo Camarillo HS18N/AOF6'3240 lbs

2002: Bryan Bullington

Pittsburgh Pirates
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Ball State22JuniorSP6'4210 lbs

2001: Joe Mauer

Minnesota Twins
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Cretin HS18N/AC6'5225 lbs

2000: Adrian Gonzalez

Florida Marlins
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Eastlake HS18N/A1B6'2215 lbs

1999: Josh Hamilton

Tampa Bay Devil Rays
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Athens Drive HS18N/AOF6'4240 lbs

1998: Pat Burrell

Philadelphia Phillies
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Miami22Junior1B6'4235 lbs

1997: Matt Anderson

Detroit Tigers
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Rice20JuniorSP6'4200 lbs

1996: Kris Benson

Pittsburgh Pirates
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Clemson22JuniorSP6'4190 lbs

1995: Darin Erstad

California Angels
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Nebraska22JuniorOF6'2195 lbs

1994: Paul Wilson

New York Mets
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Florida State21JuniorSP6'5235 lbs

1993: Alex Rodriguez

Seattle Mariners
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Westminster Christian18N/ASS6'3230 lbs

1992: Phil Nevin

Houston Astros
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Cal State Fullerton22Junior3B6'2180 lbs

1991: Brien Taylor

New York Yankees
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
East Carteret HS18N/ASP6'3220 lbs

1990: Chipper Jones

Atlanta Braves
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
The Bolles School18N/A3B6'4210 lbs

1989: Ben McDonald

Baltimore Orioles
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
LSU21JuniorSP6'7212 lbs

1988: Andy Benes

San Diego Padres
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Evansville21JuniorSP6'6235 lbs

1987: Ken Griffey Jr.

Seattle Mariners
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Archbishop Moeller HS18N/AOF6'3195 lbs

1986: Jeff King

Pittsburgh Pirates
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Arkansas21JuniorINF6'1175 lbs

1985: B.J. Surhoof

Milwaukee Brewers
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
North Carolina20JuniorSS6'1200 lbs

1984: Shawn Abner

New York Mets
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Mechanicsburg Area HS18N/AOF6'1190 lbs

1983: Tim Belcher

Minnesota Twins
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Mount Vernon Nazarene University22N/ASP6'3210 lbs

1982: Shawon Dunston

Chicago Cubs
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Thomas Jefferson HS19N/ASS6'1180 lbs

1981: Mike Moore

Seattle Mariners
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Oral Roberts21JuniorSP6'4205 lbs

1980: Darryl Strawberry

New York Mets
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Crenshaw HS18N/AOF6'6190 lbs

1979: Al Chambers

Seattle Mariners
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
John Harris HS18N/AOF6'4217 lbs

1978: Bob Horner

Atlanta Braves
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Arizona State20Junior3B6'1195 lbs

1977: Harold Baines

Chicago White Sox
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
St. Michael's HS18N/AOF6'2175 lbs

1976: Floyd Bannister

Houston Astros
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Arizona State21JuniorSP6'1190 lbs

1975: Danny Goodwin

California Angels
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Southern University21Junior1B6'1195 lbs

1974: Bill Almon

San Diego Padres
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Brown21JuniorSS6'3190 lbs

1973: David Clyde

Texas Rangers
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Westchester HS18N/ASP6'1185 lbs

1972: Dave Roberts

San Diego Padres
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Oregon21Junior3B6'3215 lbs

1971: Danny Goodwin

Chicago White Sox
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Southern University21Junior1B6'1195 lbs

1970: Mike Ivie

San Diego Padres
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Walker HS18N/AC6'3205 lbs

1969: Jeff Burroughs

Washington Senators
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Woodrow Wilson HS18N/AOF6'1200 lbs

1968: Tim Foli

New York Mets
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Notre Dame HS18N/ASS6'0179 lbs

1967: Ron Blomberg

New York Yankees
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Druid Hills HS18N/A1B6'1195 lbs

1966: Steve Chilcott

New York Mets
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Antelope Valley HS18N/A1B5'11185 lbs

1965: Rick Monday

Kansas City Athletics
SchoolAgeYearPositionHeightWeight
Arizona State19JuniorOF6'3193 lbs

Hall of Fame First Overall Picks

Most first overall picks will reach the majors, but very few will go onto deliver the careers that these names have had. Ken Griffey Jr. was drafted first overall back in 1987. We was going to high school in Cincinnati, where he would play for half his career after the Mariners. Seattle was lucky to land an all-time great. He finished third in the Rookie of the Year voting that season, hitting .264 with 16 HR. Griffey began to really take off over the next few years, churning out MVP finishes and Gold Glove awards. He ended up being a 13-time all-start and had ten Gold Glove awards. Griffey will go down as one of the greatest, and his career post 30 was very injury prone, otherwise he might be topping some records.

Alex Rodriguez isn’t in the Hall of Fame, and it would be a surprise if he was given the tarnished career because of steroids. Still, he put up Hall of Fame numbers, and is another tremendous number one overall pick. He finished with 696 career home runs, and over 2,000 RBI. Rodriguez was a unique talent with huge power, but also had over 3,000 hits. He was a three-time MVP and was a World Series winner back in 2009. Chipper Jones went first overall back in 1990. He hit .303 in his career, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame just recently in 2018. Jones was an eight-time all-star, and also played his entire career with the Atlanta Braves. Talk about hitting on an investment. Harold Baines was also a Hall of Famer, who was drafted first in 1977.

First Overall Busts

Tim Beckham was one of the more recent busts, but he still finds himself playing in the MLB, and also still being of service. It might have been partially the hype around him, but he was a highly touted shortstop who flopped in Tampa Bay. He had elite athleticism, but struggled defensively. Beckham also ran into drug problems early in his career. This was the case for a few others, as Daryl Strawberry and Josh Hamilton both had issues off the field. Staying with the Rays, Delmon Young was drafted in 2003. He struggled to get anything going in the majors, and was notably suspended after hitting an umpire with a bat.

Shawn Abner was passed around the majors like a hot dog at a baseball game. He struggled to get anything going wherever he went, and was drafted in 1984. He finished with just 13 HR and a .227 batting average. It was harder to take because the Mets could have drafted Greg Maddux or Tom Glavine who went later on. In more recent years, Mark Appel was drafted in 2013 after being drafted 8th by Pittsburgh the year before. He was traded shortly after to the Phillies, where he ended up retiring after failing to reach the majors.

Notable Names

You will recognize some of the recent draft picks that went number one overall. Washington had back-to-back number one picks, and hit on them both. Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg both have lived up to the hype so far. Harper is now in Philadelphia, so Strasburg has been there long term. Joe Mauer and Adrian Gonzalez both have had strong careers. Mauer won three batting titles, while Gonzalez has racked up over 2,000 hits. David Price and Justin Upton have both put together quality careers, and Price is now a World Series winner. Carlos Correa has developed into an above average shortstop after being drafted in 2012 by Houston. Gerrit Cole was a stud coming out of college, and delivered in Pittsburgh before slowing down a bit. His move to Houston has revamped his career into a true ace.

Jason Guilbault has been writing and podcasting in the fantasy sports world for over five years. You can find his work at Daily Fantasy Cafe. He is an avid Tottenham fan, and follows the Boston sports teams. When he isn’t diving into stats, he is enjoying the outdoors or down at the local brewery.

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